Just two months after rumors first circulated that Sylvester Stallone might be interested in pursuing new Rocky-branded movies post-Creed, the actor now says that the studio is ready to go forward on a movie where the Italian Stallion ends up training an undocumented immigrant. Per the original description given in May, Stallone said that such a sequel would likely see Rocky's charge deported, so that Balboa can follow him out of the country and have to train the boxer while out of his (Rocky's) element. The idea would be to continue Rocky's story without needing to appear in future Creed films (assuming there are more). Stallone acknowledged in a new interview that the idea of making a hero who is an undocumented immigrant at a time where that group is being regularly vilified seems like a ready-made controversy.
While Stallone's Rambo series has often found itself at the center of any given generation's political discussion, Rocky has generally managed to avoid such things. A sports movie about an underdog with a heart of gold and a working class background, there are some social and political messages that could be drawn from the long-running franchise, but it is not and never has been a primary way the films are viewed. Of course, while lower-middle class laborers were the underdogs of the '70s, Creed reinvented the wheel, telling a story distinctly similar to the first Rocky but using Philadelphia's African-American neighborhoods rather than Little Italy. Taking that idea one step further, an undocumented immigrant would be a logical extension of the theme.
According to a new interview with Variety, Stallone describes the premise as, "Rocky meets a young, angry person who got stuck in this country when he comes to see his sister. He takes him into his life, and unbelievable adventures begin, and they wind up south of the border. It’s very, very timely." Asked whether he would be engaging with the politics of the day, Stallone confirmed as much, saying, "Do you tell someone that you just met in the street who’s struggling and homeless to get out, or do you take him in? If you take him in, you’re in trouble."
The idea of carrying on the Creed and Rocky franchises at the same time may throw some audiences off a bit. After all, Rocky was happily out of the boxing game and had to be drawn back in by Adonis Creed -- something that only happened because of Rocky's ties to Adonis's family. The idea of Rocky out looking for somebody new to train while Adonis is still in the game could be a little strange for some members of the audience. A heavyweight contender certainly would, as it would theoretically run the risk of pitting Rocky's new fighter against Adonis Creed. Such a movie would also likely have to explain why Rocky left Adonis to another manager, and the scenario Stallone describes -- someone desperate whose plight somehow appeals to Rocky's better angels -- is one of the more logical ways to make it work.